Let’s Make A New Testament Law Code!

Out with the Old and in with the New,

let’s figure this stuff out;

those who are in, those who are out.

Preachers and theologians routinely tell me that Paul argued for a post-Law community of Christians united not by the outward markers of faithfulness, but by an inclusive ministry of the Spirit that moved past traditional boundaries (some of which were set up by Scripture itself).

Because in Christ the Christians are Law-completed (Rom 10:4).

Because the only covenant marker of any value is “faith expressed through love” (Gal 5:6).

ThouShalt

Yet some of these preachers and theologians will turn around and fashion a law code from Paul’s own words. Obviously they don’t call it a “law code,” because they’ve been trained by Paul to look beyond law; Faith alone! Christ alone! they shout from the mountaintop, yet quickly descend to hand out copies of their commandments, fresh and updated. Read more “Let’s Make A New Testament Law Code!”

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Purity Culture, Jesus, and the Markan Narrative

The evangelical obsession with purity.

Reminds me of ritual purity law.

Especially when it determines who is inside the circle.

And who is not.

Purity

The Gospel of Mark is full of little devices I like to call “Markan sandwiches,” though more reasonable people use the term interpolations. The author of Mark creates these textual sandwiches by starting a story, inserting a second, then finishing the first.

If the sandwich in Mark 5 were real, the text would be grilled cheese and the author Alton Brown. Read more “Purity Culture, Jesus, and the Markan Narrative”

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A Rule For Every Preacher

Preacher

Whenever you preach, preachers, for the love of God –

Represent the opposition fairly.

Standing in front of an assembled congregation and making claims about God, the world, and what God has to say to this world will inevitably place certain ideas, practices, and people on the opposite side from your propositions.  Depending upon Read more “A Rule For Every Preacher”

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Jesus Denies Having Wife, Says Foreknowledge of Followers’ Sexual Repression Assured His Perpetual Bachelorhood

jesus wife

In response to the verification of the ancient papyrus popularly dubbed Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, the Lord himself issued a statement denying that he ever married:

“I know that Dan Brown and a fourth century scribe have suggested that I tied the knot during my life on earth, but I want to say very clearly that the only knots I tied were in the stomachs of the religious establishment – no marriage for me.” Read more “Jesus Denies Having Wife, Says Foreknowledge of Followers’ Sexual Repression Assured His Perpetual Bachelorhood”

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5 Ways Creationism Is Bad For Christianity

Sure creationism makes us look silly, but it does so much more than that.

I fancy myself a creationist in the sense that I believe God is the initial cause of the universe, but I am not a “creationist,” because I do not believe Genesis 1-3 reflects scientific history. You can read why here, here, here, and here.

creationism is bad Read more “5 Ways Creationism Is Bad For Christianity”

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What If I Told You There Was No “Inn”

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:4-7

Manger

It’s a tale as old as time:  pregnant couple travels home for the census, cannot find room at the inn when she’s ready to deliver the bun she’s been baking, stodgy innkeeper sends them out back to party in the barn. Cue baby Jesus, no-crying-he-makes (which is a fairly impressive feat for anyone spending the night among animals… much less an infant).  Read more “What If I Told You There Was No “Inn””

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